• Pierre Alexandre

Anthem GDC Notes

Rocket Man : Creating Flight for Anthem

David Hoang (Animator) and Daniel Nordlander (Senior Gameplay Designer), Bioware

**please acknowledge that those notes aren’t exactly representative of the speaker(s)’ presentation. I tried to stick to the slides as much as possible. Those notes are here to give you a first taste before the original presentation releases on internet**

In Anthem, players will fly, swim under water, fight against enemies, with friends.


. flying is cool (super-hero feeling)

. but flying over the world/level can feel...boring

. application of a flight sealing (represented in game by the player’s suit’s reactors overheating) —> make it clear to the player that he can fly through but not over the world

. it adds an interesting mechanic : you can cool down your reactors by going into water, through waterfalls —> adds variety


. iteration on movement controls (different input schemes were tried, very hard to find the right one)

. tried camera shakes, FOV, vfx, etc...to help sell the dynamism of gameplay

. going down felt initially boring (because of perspective perception) —> augmented the velocity compared to straight flight

. convey movement with the camera : cam dampening (cam lags a bit after the player to add an organic feeling/less « video-game-ish »)


. animation is here to help this

. various silhouettes

. break symmetry with careful posing

. additive animation (to break repetitivity)

. posing mainly to gameplay camera

. check often what it looks like in-game!

. additive drifting to vary the character’s framing


. droping the body (like if the character was falling) first, right before the huge forward boost —> creates a huge contrast—> hyper dynamic


. always consider the big picture, pay attention to the flow. A game is an assembly of many features, made by many different departments

. communicate (!)

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